Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.

*Copyright notice* All photos, writing, and artwork are mine (
© Laura J. Wellner), unless otherwise noted, please be a peach, if you'd like to use my work for a project or you just love it and must have it, message me and we'll work out the details...it's simple...JUST ASK, please.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's Halloween!

Happy Halloween Leaves

Slice of leaves

Pale Leaf (Lilac)
Three leaves

The pumpkin colored two...
Hey, Happy Halloween! There are chunky snow flurries in the air, more ice than flurry...well, we're up high, so no surprise...it's blustery and the sun ducks in and out...makes for a pretty day... we took a drive and picked pumpkins at our favorite pumpkin patch...we're late getting out n' about doing this, but that's how things have been this year, we're spread a little thin...busy bees...

My photos happen while just looking...look and see what's there. Lots of times I find things and have to run back inside for my camera. I'm often amazed that I get what I get with my little point n' shoot and my unsteady hands (I hold my breath a lot when I click, and I delete all the blurry images!) Then fooling around with color and levels, cropping...the digital sketchbook is growing...I want to put a book together of my best pics (it's hard to chose!)

I'm still working my way through the process of creating e-books of my two, and I get closer every day I poke at the formatting...it's very tedious. I guess more impulse purchases will happen once they're out there in that format, we'll see...(like me with MP3's to replace records that I no longer have or never bought.)

Still trolling my way through editing of Drinking from the Fishbowl, taking my time to make it right.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another Saturday...

Night Shade and Grass

Colts foot

A tangle


Colts Foot

Briar patch

Colts Foot leaves

Morning Glory vines

Night shade, I really loved the purple leaves!
As you can see I toured the acre with my little camera and my faithful dog, Max...took lots of photos...It's been a long week, lots happening, and I'm grateful for a day to putter, to sit, to soak in a tub of hot water with a good book and a beer, to walk my dog in daylight...to stand near the bird feeder after filling it and watching the birds fly in and out, blue jays, chickadees, cardinals, finches (and mustn't forget the chipmunks!), each taking a tasty treat...the little junco's have come back from their summer nesting places to spend the winter with us...

I'm setting up another giveaway of my novel The Fractured Hues of White Light at Goodreads, it should be going live in about 24 hours, I'll try to tuck a widget or something here so you can find your way to it...I did an entry at my Goodreads Q&A... based on some of the reactions I've received so far from readers, I felt compelled to make note of this...it goes like this:

This book is like a cat. It was clear to me while I was writing the book about Samantha Ryder’s story that this one has a distinct personality — she’s from the same litter, but her own cat, independent to the letter. She's not going to fit into anyone's lap easily... she might have soft and fuzzy places, but she has claws and teeth. Yes, she's a cat. I knew the novel isn’t going to be suited to everybody’s taste (some people love cats, some hate cats), she isn't mainstream fiction, she's literary fiction... she isn't romance, but she's a love story...she's a story about a young woman with autism, but she's not a textbook case about a young woman with autism. She's a book about life and family, who we love, why we love them, how we love them... it's about the emotional inner-scape of the human experience, and how even the "normal" people are just as incapable of expressing their feelings as the young woman afflicted with autism. Every reader approaches a book with their biases and expectations based on their personal experience — what they like and don’t like, what they’re comfortable with, and what makes them squirm. The Fractured Hues of White Light is one of those squirmy books because it’s psychological. As a writer, I have understood that books are a subjective business, and at times very polarizing — readers either passionately love a book or they passionately hate it — the reactions are as black and white as the type on the page. Something one might feel is ‘overworked’ might resonate perfectly fine with someone else, depending on what they’re used to reading. Some readers have issues with harsh language and adult situations, while some accept the reality of the character's lives within the story. The novel has an autistic/OCD sensibility that although was intended while I went through the process of writing her, she has also surprised me for effectively causing ‘trouble’ as I’ve received interesting points of view from readers and writers, which I welcome willingly as part of doing business as an author. I believe I did the right thing writing the book this way...I trust the reader to interpret what I’ve done as they see fit...it is what it is, it's just a story. Samantha Ryder, the little picture that isn’t hung quite right...off kilter just enough to ruin the image of a pretty young woman. If she were picture perfect, it would not only be too easy to write, but she would be wrong — there would be no story to tell.

I don't know if any of that makes sense to you, but it makes sense to me...and so that's my story...I'm stickin' to it.

Max having a good sniff, learning the stories of the acre...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10 10 10

One leaf

The golden tree

Sunshine in the tree

Frost this morning

Frost on weeds

Frost on burdock leaf

Shadow on the driveway, made by the mock orange branch
It was a beautiful morning...a flood of sunshine, golden leaves, and our first frost...a beautiful day for porch sitting...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The Children's Moon

I took this photo on Saturday morning/early afternoon while lounging in the sunshine on one of the Adirondack chairs, I saw the little sliver of pale moon in the blue...I've always liked seeing it there during the day so I zoomed in with my little point n' shoot and caught it...

I finished reading through my latest manuscript Drinking from the Fishbowl on Saturday afternoon (the last time I worked on it was in 2008, so I had to get to know it again)...so now I have started over from the beginning, and will go deeper this time, it should move along as I have a firm grasp on the book as a whole and I pretty much know what needs to be done with it. It's a big book...after awhile I stopped keeping track of the page count, tho' the last I knew it was 530 or something...(The Fractured Hues of White Light in the double-spaced Word file was 516, and printed as a 437 page paperback so...I'm figuring Fishbowl will still weigh in under 500 pages by the time it goes to print). I'm not going to make a fuss about the size, there's not much I can do about it, the story will be told in it's own way, if what's there is good and it's got purpose, it's staying, I'm not going to strip the spirit out of it...I'll trust that if a reader likes what I do, and wants to read it, the size won't scare them off. I'll be brutal with it while going through the editing process (last time I edited this one, I whittled it down from 575 pages or something crazy like that. One earlier draft had ballooned to 703 pages, so I'm quite adept at being a brutal editor with my own work. Yes, I've kept track of the progress of my multiple drafts.) Page count/word count is a bugaboo when it comes to agents and publishers, they don't like anything too much over 100,000 words, yet, big books still get published (Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell, The Historian, The Time Traveler's Wife are beefy popular tomes), people still buy them...one of these days I'll come up with a less complicated slim story... someday, but in the meantime, this is what I have, and I'm not waiting around for 'my ship to come in'...

This book is the second one I wrote in this group of books that I have spent the last eleven years writing...it's centered on the relationship of three friends, Georgia Sullivan, Eugene Riley, and Bailey Muldoon... yes, it is a tangled triangle, and it is written with the intention of a "soap opera" feel to it, but it is more serious, more psychological, prickly and squirmy, tho' it has it's own sense of humor, and perhaps a bit too honest...I love how at times it's just so absurd...but you know, people with their tangled web of emotions are very often ridiculous when they're young and foolish and full of drama, especially when it comes to love and the fulfillment of our dreams...how we plan out our lives only to have obstacles pop up and send us on a different path...of course, some readers will hate it, some will love it...it depends on how they approach it, if they take it too seriously they'll miss the point...if they think it's too absurd, well...it is what it is, everyone comes to a book with their own tools, I have my way of seeing things...in the end, I have to trust the reader to judge for themselves...

Fishbowl is connected to Dusty Waters and The Fractured Hues of White Light as well, the character, Katharine, emerges again as an influence, and Guthrie Ryder has a small role...Aloysius Farnesworth is there in spirit too...so, the community of characters grows and overlaps much in the way life does...I'm enjoying myself immensely...

I've begun to explore E-books again, tho' I still haven't purchased one of the gadgets as I prefer a solid book made of paper over a gadget that requires batteries (I love reading by candlelight when the power goes out!) Well, I've decided that it wouldn't hurt to make one of the books available...Smashwords seems to be the go to place to get 'em done, but first, I have to strip the PDF down to a basic, format-less Word document... this will take some time...but I'm OCD enough to actually enjoy doing it! I've started with The Fractured Hues of White Light (I'm up to chapter 5) only because it's easier, Dusty Waters has way too many interesting visual bits that required special formatting in it's current form, so I don't know if it's going to be possible to do it and have it look like anything on an e-book device. (I wonder how a book like The House of Leaves looks as an E-book? That one has all kinds of cool bits making it a visual experience.)

(Note: most of this post was written on Sunday morning, intended to post on Sunday afternoon, but I had trouble uploading photos, so I saved the draft, and gave up! So here I am this morning, giving it another try...)

Anyway...the gray skies of the last couple of days have given way to blue again...I don't think the little pale moon will be out there, but the gold finches are busy in the coneflowers...I've finally shook off the cold that I've been battling with for a week, and so it's just allergies again...